The arrival of a Steam Sale is usually heralded with rampant jubiliation and the boasting of people who have taken advantage of incredible deals. I revel in reading the announcements my friends make concerning their buys, search for recommendations of extraordinary deals, and delight in seeing someone I know now also owns a title so we can savor the gaming experience together. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any of those things happen during the 2014 Steam Summer Sale.
To put it frankly, we’ve entered a season of stagnation. As good as the 2014 Steam Summer Sale may be, it hasn’t been a cause for excitement like past years. Instead of seeing people giddy about their new purchases, I’m hearing laments about the lack of content and sorry over disappointing deals.
I believe a big part of this “problem” is that many of the 2014 Steam Summer Sale games are familiar discounts. The same games that have been on sale before, are reduced yet again. Not only that, but the prices are about the same this round as they were during previous sales.
Since the same games are on sale, there’s another problem to face. We probably already own them all, these reduced games. These are a mix of quality AAA and independent ventures. Many are critically acclaimed and beloved by fans. We were bound to reach a point where all of the games we added to our wishlists and genuinely wanted entered our collection.
I also believe that the game bundle phenomenon is taking its toll. The insanely popular Humble Bundles have spawned many copycat bundle sites. As one who has had to keep track of exactly how many bundles are available each week for work related purposes, I can confirm that there are usually at least 15, and sometimes as many as 20, available. Each one offers an average of 5 games for around or under $5. They’ve undoubtedly taken big chunks out of wishlists as well.
Yet, I take heart in the knowledge that the 2014 Steam Summer Sale is an exception. This isn’t a permanent situation. While there may be a decided lack of excitement this year, I’m confident that the situation will improve, perhaps even in time for the 2014 Steam Winter Sale. We, as gamers, just have to accept that there is a saturation point when it comes to fantastic games at ridiculous prices. A point can, and will, be reached where we own everything we could possibly want.
When that moment happens, as it has now, we must be patient and endure. More amazing games are coming in 2014 and 2015, which will provide more Steam Wishlist fodder. Valve is constantly innovating, and perhaps we will see new sale incentives. In the meantime, we must enjoy the 2014 Steam Summer Sale for what it is, perhaps make due with only one or two deals and an array of “troll gifts,” and know winter is coming.